Kentucky Derby 2020 Radar: Honor A. P. back on the work tab

January 21, 2020 09:53am

The hype around Honor A. P. as a 2020 Kentucky Derby prospect only built into the winter even as the son of Honor Code went without a start since breaking his maiden on Oct. 13.

That shine is beginning to wear off, however, as another month will pass having not seen the colt make it back into the entries due to a minor right-front foot injury, forcing him to miss the Jan. 4 Sham Stakes (G3).

A positive development did arrive Monday when trainer John Shirreffs sent C R K Stable’s $850,000 yearling purchase through a three-furlong drill at Santa Anita Park in 39.20 seconds.

“It was a very good work and he galloped out strong,” Shirreffs told Santa Anita publicity.

But it was also just a starting point. As for next race options, the trainer added, “We’ll wait and see.”

Honor A. P., who ran second on debut going six furlongs at Del Mar, showed dramatic improvement second out, taking to the front end of a one-mile event at Santa Anita before drawing off by by 5 1/4 lengths.



At the least, he has two-turn experience. But to hit the Derby trail in late February or early March means either matching up against heavy heads in Santa Anita’s San Felipe Stakes (G2) or shipping out of town.

Since Honor A. P. emerged, Storm the Court surprised in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Anneau d’Or proved he was no fluke by finishing second in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), and the Bob Baffert barn — of course — is looking loaded with graded winners Eight Rings, Thousand Words and Authentic to name a few.

Any of those could show up in the San Felipe, though another viable path would seem to be an allowance return at Santa Anita before the March 22 Sunland Derby (G3) in New Mexico.


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About the Derby Radar

Back for the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail, Horse Racing Nation's Derby Radar seeks to identify promising maiden, allowance and even stakes winners who could target points-paying preps down the line. We'll cover the buzz horses, of course, then using a systematic approach based on past years' Derby contenders identify other talented colts moving up the ladder.

Did we miss one? Email editor Jonathan Lintner ( if you know of a horse that should be on the radar.

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